PhoSim v5.4 released

The 19th major release of the Photon Simulator (PhoSim) is completed, tagged, and validated and is called PhoSim v5.4.

For those of you who are as not familiar with PhoSim, the goal of the project is to achieve a complete ab initio Monte Carlo simulation code of the IR/optical/UV/X-ray physics of astronomical observations. PhoSim fundmentally creates emergent measurement errors (photometric/astrometric/PSF size/shape) imprinted in realistic images by using basic physics rather than using models/parameterizations. PhoSim is also extremely fast with novel numerical algorithms, advanced Monte Carlo techniques, and efficient multithreading methods. It can be run on laptops/desktops as well as in high performance computing environments. Major improvements in recent releases have been opto-mechanical physics, sensor electrostatic details, self-consistent atmosphere global hydro-based representations, generalizations and implementations for various telescopes, simplification of the user interface, and internal astronomical catalog generator & operations capabilities.

There is a major release (vX.Y) twice a year (in Summer and Winter). The major releases include hundreds of revisions. Between releases, there are intermediate patches (vX.Y.Z). These fix urgent bugs.

All of the details are available following links at the main PhoSim site. This includes hundreds of pages of documentation, user tutorials, and the 4 reference papers.

Some highlights from PhoSim v5.4 include: detailed photon-cloud interactions, detailed physics improvements on turbulence representations, additional polynomial surface perturbation capabilities, simplication and generalization of instrument & site characteristics (ISC), capabilities for individual coating & electrical properties for individual sensors, reduction in the number of required ISC files,expansion of blooming/midline capabilities, various improvements in optimizations for different telescopes, and general increase in the speed of simulations. There have been more tutorials added and more updates to documentation as well.

In addition, if you don’t want to run PhoSim yourself, PhoSim data is being continually produced for the PhoSim Rubin Survey (PRS) that you can download through the links above. We will switch to a new version soon.

Please file tickets for bugs at the main site, and please email your feedback or questions.